Claire-Dee Lim

Writer, Content Marketing

Author: Claire (page 2 of 24)

Ode to Joy: Carb Up!

Before my husband and I embarked on a low-carb/Paleo/intermittent fasting lifestyle, I used to bake. A lot. I’d get fixated on a particular recipe and make every attempt to master it. When Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread revolution came along, with the promise of baking a delicious, highly fermented, rustic-style bread boule, I had to go for it. I then tweaked and tweaked the recipe, incorporating some of Cook’s Illustrated adjustments. No surprise— after making loaf after loaf, our waistlines got thicker and thicker!

For the past five years, bread has not been a part of our menu. So for this holiday and new year’s feasting, I decided to bust out the old recipe as a treat. Oh man, did it taste good! I’ll take a hank of this bread with butter over a Christmas cookie any day.

Alas, 2018 has begun and we’re back to low-carbing it (and feeling much better for it). But there’s always next holiday season …

Recipe after the pix.

No-Knead Bread (with tweaks from Cook’s Illustrated)
(makes 1 large round loaf)

3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp up to (1 tablespoon) salt
1 tsp yeast
1-1/2 cups water

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot that can withstand 500 degrees.

1.    Stir flour, yeast and salt in large bowl. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2.    Lay a 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and brush surface of dough with olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2-4 hours. (Longer time yields bigger, chewy holes. I’ve let the 2nd rise go for 8 hours.)

3.    About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position, place a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, ½-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees — 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool at room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing.

Slather with butter and devour!

 

 

 

DIY Ways to Learn About the Movie Business

UPDATED with screenplay link: 11/13/17

I get this question a lot from my film students: what more can I do to learn about filmmaking and the industry?

The answer is multi-fold:

  1. Watch as many films or TV shows as you can. From indies to blockbusters, foreign films, in a theater, streaming, it doesn’t matter. The more content you watch, the more you’ll learn about storytelling and filmmaking techniques. (Although, I’m not a fan of phone viewing; all you get is the story and not the incredible cinematics.)

This seems pretty obvious, right? You’ll be amazed at the number of students I’ve encountered who don’t see anything. The reasons why are always the same: any extra time is spent texting, on social media channels or watching YouTube. I admit to falling into a YouTube cyberhole (Dr. Pimple Popper, stop feeding our popaholic addiction!) but I can pull myself out. For some, it’s practically impossible. Which leads me to …

  1. Prioritize your viewing. If you want to be a director, cinematographer, editor or production designer, watch all the films made by your favorites and analyze them. Go the extra mile: listen to their DVD commentary, read interviews and film criticism. You love Christopher Nolan or Gordon Willis? Dive into their oeuvre—it’s the best kind of personal film school.
  2. The same goes for being a writer, producer, documentarian. Immerse yourself and become that annoying film nerd … and I say this with the utmost affection.
  3. Also, for aspiring writers … not only should you watch movies written by your fave screen and tv writers, read the scripts. It’s easy to get caught up in the visuals of a movie, so reading helps isolate the written storytelling and structure. Scripts are available online. For free! (Read the 2017 award season screenplays too.)
  4. Read the trades to find out what producers, directors, actors, and studios are doing what, what’s in development, what are the hot spec screenplay sales, ratings, studio wars, intrigue and more—this info is all there for the gleaning: THR, Variety, Deadline, Cynopsis, TV By the Numbers, to name a few.
  5. Listen to The Business on KCRW, hosted by Kim Masters, editor-at-large of the Hollywood Reporter, the weekly program covers an industry report then follows with interviews of mainstream to indie talent about their current projects. There are lots of insights to be had here.  Previous shows are archived.
  6. Listen to The Treatment, also on KCRW, hosted by film critic Elvis Mitchell. In his weekly show, he interviews innovative talent from the entertainment industry. He’s such a film champion that he can always find something informative and positive to say about any movie. I may not agree with his tastes but I always get something out of his perspective.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. Write and shoot. Technology has made it so easy to shoot and edit anything, and it’s cheaper than ever. And there’s really no excuse not to.

Cat Lovers Unite at CatCon 2017

If you had any doubt that the culture’s obsession with all things cat-ness had flamed out, well guess again. The effects of cats’ global domination were in full force this past weekend at CatCon 2017. Held in its new home, the Pasadena Convention Center, CatCon brought together cat lovers, cat ladies and cat gentlemen, cat advocates, cat merchandisers and cat Instagram stars to celebrate the charms and mysteries of these furry creatures. I partly attended to do research on product trends for the monthly cat lady column I write, but mostly attended to be a part of the feline phenomena.

There were meet & greets for Instagram stars like Nala, and advocates like Kitten Lady; seminars for special needs cats and kitten rescue; the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA held adoptions (over 100 cats adopted at the event); cat video awards (hosted by Battlestar Galactica and Lucifer star Tricia Helfer); and products, ranging from robo litter boxes and water fountains to cat fashions (t-shirts, dresses and accessories galore!) and cat-related arts and crafts. One enterprising and unique line featured cat hair that had been cleaned, carded and spun into wool to make upcycled jewelry and other items. Who knew I could repurpose my cat’s hairballs into a crafty headband?

Here are some of the highlights from CatCon. Can you fur the love?

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 Claire-Dee Lim

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑